Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Transhumanism Technology

Overheard from www.futureforall.org . Read on, guys . :)


Wealthy, Healthy and Wise

transhuman girl

Okay, let me see if I've got this right. I could stay young forever? Groovy. A complete backup of my brain? Copy that. What's this? An estimate? I knew it sounded too good to be true.

As with previous medical breakthroughs, it is possible that future human enhancements, like brain-machine interfaces and longevity drugs, at least initially, may only be affordable for the wealthy. The well-to-do well-could-be the next big thing.

What scenarios might lead to human enhancement technologies for all?

Trickle Down Technology

Some future forecasters point out that many medical products and procedures have been expensive when they were first introduced. Prices can drop through competition, lower production costs and after patents run out.

Medical enhancements, however, may encounter unique barriers to lower prices.

Cosmetic surgeries and implants, for example, have been available for decades. Visit Beverly Hills and you'll see more lifts than a crane operator, but you'd be hard pressed to find a tightened temple in my neck of the woods.

What obstacles, wrinkles if you will, face society in providing available and affordable transhuman technology for everyone?

Wrinkle #1 - In the year 2050, 'transhuman technology for all', would mean advanced medical technology for an estimated 9 billion people.

Wrinkle #2 - Medical insurance policies will probably not cover human enhancements.

Wrinkle #3 - The fewer recipients, the higher the value to the consumer. What fun would Jeopardy be if everyone had an encyclopedia implant?

Wrinkle #4 - You just invented the Immortality pill. What price will you set?

Superhuman Compassion

Another proposed path to parity, is that the first transhumans, enlightened by electronics and wise beyond their wires, will become benevolent and intelligent enough to share transtechnologies with the world.

The problem with this scenario, is that transhumans are not posthumans. Transhumans will still have undesirable human characteristics like greed and hate, that posthumans will hopefully transcend.

Misfits and Retrofits

Even with reasonable closing costs, brain implant surgery may not be in the budget for many people living in the transhuman age. No prescription for immortality, for those that cannot afford the pill. In the era of 'half human/machine', the gap between the Halves and the Halve-Nots, will be as large as the profits.

For billions of aspiring species travelers, posthumanity might offer the first chance to board the techno-evolution train. A future departure point where empathetic conductors stop at every station and the journey is always free.

No comments: